Chiefs Were Not Happy With the Zebras

Hearing Tony Gonzalez complain about being held is nothing new. That has been happening ever since the 6-foot-5 Gonzalez established himself as one of the league's best pass-catching tight ends shortly after he came into the league in 1997.

But the complaining hit new volume levels when Gonzalez couldn't fight through double coverage for Trent Green's end zone throw that was intercepted from the 9 just before halftime in a 17-10 game.

"I got mugged on both plays the interception and the two-point conversion," Gonzalez said, noting a second pass he couldn't get to after Kansas City closed to within 24-19 with 6:13 remaining.

In a year when NFL referees have made a conscious attempt to call illegal contact and defensive holding, the Chiefs were openly critical of the failure to get a call on Gonzalez.

"It's interesting every week that we get letters from the league saying, 'Oops, sorry,' but that doesn't do us any good," Green said. "It's unfortunate that Tony, being the player that he is, doesn't get a little more leeway in that department. But there was no leeway needed on that play."

Added Gonzalez: "Forget about who I am and what I've done. Just make the call, an easy call! That's the most frustrating part -- especially with the way they said they were going to call (defensive holding) at the beginning of the year.

"Who knows what would have happened (in the game) had we gotten that call," Gonzalez added. "Those were plays that would have put points on the board. When you don't get that call against the world champions, you know you're going to lose."

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"He was mugged, with a capital M." -- Chiefs president Carl Peterson, alleging that Gonzalez was held on the interception just before halftime.

CHIEFS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS:
PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus - QB Trent Green got off to an outstanding start, hitting his first nine passes for 148 yards and a TD in beating the young Pats corners filling in for the missing Ty Law and Tyrone Poole. But his attempt to force a throw to Gonzalez in double coverage in the end zone produced an interception just before halftime in a 17-10 game and took the gloss off an otherwise solid 27-42-381 game with two touchdown passes of 65 and 26 yards to Eddie Kennison.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D - RB Derrick Blaylock never had room to run in a 14-yard first half. Kansas City's 64 rushing yards represented the team's low-water mark of the year and was a major victory for the Patriots front seven, coming as it did against the NFL rushing leader -- with or without Priest Holmes.

PASS DEFENSE: F - Tom Brady did pretty much whatever he wanted in completing 17-26 for 315 yards and one TD with seven completions of 20 or more yards. Eight receivers caught passes with Deion Branch going 6-105 in his first game since being injured in September.

RUSH DEFENSE: C - Corey Dillon was effective in rushing 26-98 with two TDs, but the Patriots 3.1-yard average wasn't a killer.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D - Lawrence Tynes converted field goals of 44 and 24 yards, but his short kickoffs helped give New England field position at its own 35 on its first five possessions, three of which produced scores in taking a 17-10 halftime lead. Steve Cheek's shanked 26-yard punt set up the Patriots at their own 44 and gift-wrapped a second-quarter field goal. Dante Hall had a 33-yard kickoff return to the Patriots 44 to set up a KC field goal drive that answered New England's game-opening TD drive, but he was barely heard from the rest of the game.


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